Middle Names First, Celebrity Style: Meet Troyal Garth Brooks & Hannah Dakota Fanning
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In case you don’t think the middle name choice is an important one, just take a look at the startling number of celebrities who have opted for using their middle names in lieu of the first name on their birth certificates! Some have dropped a ho-hum common in favor of a more dramatic middle, others, to avoid confusion, have shed a name shared with their parent.
To begin with, there have been five US Presidents who have made the first-middle name switch:
Famous Middle Names
Hiram Ulysses S. Grant—At 17, when entering West Point, his name was mistakenly written as Ulysses S. Grant and he apparently was happy to lose the HUG initials. The S was for his mother’s maiden name, Simpson.
Some other older examples:
Boys who dropped their Daddies’ names:
Clarke Issac Hanson—using middles as firsts is something of a Hanson family tradition (see Jordan Taylor). And Isaac carries on the convention with his sons Clarke Everett, called Everett, and James Monroe, called Monroe. Clarke is the name of the father of the clan.
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on October 14th, 2014 at 1:46 am
It’s Clarke Isaac Hanson (Isaac is misspelled in the listing). Of note, their father also goes by his middle name, Clarke Walker Hanson uses just Walker. Zachary Walker Hanson goes by Zac, but his sons follow the family tradition: John Ira Shepherd goes by Shepherd and George Abraham is known as Abe. The trio of bandmate brothers have a 4th brother whom also goes by a middle name, Joshua Mackenzie Hanson is commonly called Mac. For some reason this “tradition” applies only to the boys and not the girls of the family. And there’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about the Hanson family, but what kind of fan and name nerd would I be if I hadn’t check out the naming patterns of my fave band?
on October 14th, 2014 at 3:49 am
Also, Lee Alexander McQueen!
on October 14th, 2014 at 9:56 am
Maybe not quite an “A-lister” (Yet!), but you missed my favorite actress, Stephanie Italia (“Italia”) Ricci from ABC Family’s “Chasing Life”. According to her, when she was a teenager and trying to do some modeling, her agent saw that her middle name was Italia and suggested she use that instead. She did, and it stuck, to the point that I’m pretty sure she actually uses it in everyday life at this point.
on October 14th, 2014 at 12:51 pm
Growing up my best friend was named Ricky. When we went to first grade, we were both in Mrs Timmons’s class. Ricky’s last name started with a W, so it was a while before Mrs Timmons got to his name. She called, “John. John W.” and I remember Ricky and I both looking around the classroom for the kid named John who was probably Ricky’s cousin. She must have called that name five times. Finally, she asked if there was anyone who’s name wasn’t called and Ricky raised his hand, telling her he was “Ricky W.” She said she didn’t have a Richard W, only a John.
Lol. We later found out that Ricky’s full name was John Frederick W III.
on October 14th, 2014 at 2:36 pm
You should add the boys of the band Kings of Leon to the list! They all go by their middle names. Lead singer Caleb Followill is Anthony Caleb Followill, drummer Nathan is Ivan Nathan Followill, guitarist Matthew is Cameron Matthew Followill, and bassist Jared is Michael Jared Followill!!!
on October 14th, 2014 at 3:49 pm
Good call Tea Leoni! I’m not sure I could take a Liz Pantaleoni seriously, all I can think is pantalones.
on October 14th, 2014 at 6:13 pm
Thank you for this post! It’s one of the most interesting that I’ve seen in a while and I totally enjoyed reading every bit of it!
It also explains why I’ve always thought Evangeline Lilly never looked like her name fit her. She totally looks like a Nicole!
on October 15th, 2014 at 8:14 pm
I read this post yesterday, and thank you so much for it! I love reading things like this, it was very interesting, i loved it!!!
on October 18th, 2014 at 8:36 am
Alexis Bledel (Rory of Gilmore Girls) is actually Kimberly Alexis Bledel.
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